It’s now or never in Knight Terrors: Action Comics #2 as Power Girl and the Superman Family must escape their respective nightmares amid the ongoing Knight Terrors crisis event. There is a lot to like about these two stories that could’ve only been done by this multi-creative team as they conclude and bridge into the main Knight Terrors series.
Rafa Sandoval and Matt Herms’ cover goes with a less subtle way of juxtaposing the two stories compared to their work on the first issue. The symmetry of Cyborg Superman and Power Girl set to the backgrounds of their respective stories here gives the whole cover a playing card feel. While the backgrounds may use similar color tones, it’s all in the textures that allow anyone to tell them apart from afar.
Tyler Kirkham gives Power Girl a costume more inspired by her original for his variant along with featuring the main villain of Knight Terrors, Insomnia. Kirkham may have given him his cleanest appearance yet since artists that tend to draw him have a more gritty and horror-orientated style. Kirkham’s illustrations have always been clean and defined which always suited Power Girl.
Superman flying towards the imaginary camera with one fist out and another curled at his side is one of the most drawn poses he’s in. Mirko Colak puts a Cyborg Superman spin on this as he flies the same way above Metropolis, leaving an explosion that could be pinpointed in his wake. With Colak’s textures, it almost has a painted feel to it, especially with how the building lights are done in the background.
Other cool variants are done by Vasco Georgiev and Crystal Kung.
In the first story, Paige continues to go down the rabbit hole of the A.I. nightmare keeping her prisoner – the use of rabbit hole is highly intentional because this has turned out to be a very Matrix-esque story. In order to escape, she’ll have to run a gauntlet of trial and error using her seemingly endless digital life. What began as a battle against herself is now a fight against a machine with a connection to her past. After being helpless and powerless in the last issue, Paige adapts and becomes a final figure with nothing but determination and grit driving her forward. Leah Williams, lettered by Becca Carey, does a great job hyping her up as such while also putting her through the wringer. It goes to show that the many heroines of the DC Universe don’t need their powers to be strong.
Georgiev continues to transport Power Girl in a techno-scape of screens, cables, and pods. Paige’s efforts to escape here are visceral in some panels and one could almost feel her pain. If that isn’t enough, then her greatest friend and ally from her miniseries is now out to kill her. Colors are done by Alex Guimares, and he keeps everything grey and dark in the technoscape.
In the second story, Cyborg Superman continues his attack on the Superman Family using Superboy as a host along with Metropolis as the techno horror continues. There’s no more suspense, hiding, or stalking – this story is all action and onomatopoeias of echoing punches and high-speed collisions. Natalie, Kenan, Osul, and Otho have to fight for their lives against a mechanical onslaught and blasts from the past that was the Warworld Saga. Phillip Kennedy Johnson, lettered by Dave Sharpe, takes us back with several Easter Eggs and a major callback to his essential Superman story.
Mico Suayan and Fico Ossio really do go full Action Comics with the several panels of hard-hitting blows as the Superman Family makes their stand. Everyone is flying through the air, even Natalie without her suit. The nightmare manifestations also heat up with some twisted cameos from allies and enemies alike from the Warworld Saga. In some panels, there’s some photorealism handling of expressions and faces which are a great staple of Suayan and Ossio’s teamwork illustrating. Colors are done by Romulo Fajardo Jr., and he keeps the skies of Metropolis blood red and dark since there’s no sun to shine.
Knight Terrors: Action Comics 2 wraps up the specially tailored nightmares that Insomnia had in store for the Superman Family. While the real fight against him is about to begin, these two horror-themed entries in the ongoing Action Comics series were a cool creative experiment for the teams involved.